Being the answer to a trivia question furnishes an air of uniqueness. But a subject to multiple queries? That’s downright surreal.

In Archbishop Wood’s scintillating 61-54 victory over South Fayette in last week’s PIAA Class 5 girls’ basketball state championship at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA, the program’s third straight and eighth overall, senior Kara Meredith became a pseudo celebrity for trivia buffs.

Quieting the opponent’s vocal supporters, Meredith opened the scoring with a three-pointer. In the second quarter, she did it again. In the final seconds of regulation, she swished the Vikings’ final two points from the free-throw line.

For good measure, she took an inbounds pass from senior Lauren Tretter and dribbled away the final seconds before hoisting the basketball into the heavens.

Speaking of heavens, Meredith hails from a devoted Catholic family whose fingerprints dot numerous local geographical venues. More on that a bit later.

“It was just the best way to go out, especially after such a good game the team had,” said Meredith. “It’s crazy. Being able to have the ball at the end of my last game ever for Wood is such a special thing because that opportunity does not come very often. That moment of throwing the ball up and running to half court to cheer and jump up and down with my team is one that I will never forget.”

As she did during several Catholic League games, particularly later in the season and in the PCL playoffs (game-high 19 points in championship loss), Meredith dominated several stretches of Wood’s five state tournament victories with either a cluster of scoring or rugged defense.

But it was in the final that the Vikings needed her most, because the PCL runner-ups were competing against a team strongly favored by most, which constitutes an oddity in state play, where Archbishop Wood has amassed a 15-game winning streak over the past four seasons.

Meredith didn’t disappoint, corralling 13 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Junior Ava Renninger contributed 21 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Senior Deja Evans overwhelmed the Lions inside for 17 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks. Sophomore Emily Knouse collected eight points, seven rebounds, and three assists. As she has done throughout much of her career, senior Delaney Finnegan made goings slim for South Fayette’s top scoring options.

“I definitely feel like my game improved so much this season,” said Meredith, who next year will play at Holy Family University. “I felt a lot more confident on the floor this year and I knew I had my teammates’ confidence in me. This season for me was all about being a leader and coming out with energy every game.”

Archbishop Wood coach Mike McDonald, a five-time state champion, lauded Meredith’s tangibles and intangibles.

“Kara Meredith has done everything you could ask for in a student, a player, and a person,” said McDonald. “She is in the top of her class academically. She worked hard every season and off-season to improve her game. She treats her teammates, coaches, teachers, and peers with respect.

“I wish Kara could stay and continue to lead our program. I look up to her. She always does the right thing and always looks to give rather than take. We have been lucky to have her represent our program and school. I look forward to being her biggest fan, next to her impressively supportive family who has undoubtedly had a positive impact on Kara.

“The world needs more Kara Merediths.”

The Meredith family maintain deep roots in Catholic tradition. Kara’s father, Jim, is the principal of Nazareth Academy High School; her aunt, Maureen Pfeiffer, serves as principal of Blessed Trinity grade school in Mayfair; her sister Anna teaches sixth grade at St. Cecilia’s grade school in Fox Chase, from where three of the five Meredith children graduated before the family moved to Lower Moreland.

“My family is very strong in our Catholic faith, and it has played a role throughout my whole life,” said Meredith. “Ever since I can remember, we’ve gone to Sunday Mass together, whether that be in the morning before my sports games or at night after them.

“My dad has been working in Catholic education for almost 27 years at many different schools like Archbishop Ryan, Pope John Paul II, and Nazareth Academy. I’ve grown up seeing him interact with students and attend Catholic functions for his schools. On my mom’s side of the family, everyone attended Wood, so I am a third generation Wood student. So, yes, Catholic education goes pretty far into my family’s roots, and still does.”

With high school days already deep in the metaphorical fourth quarter, Meredith will “very much” miss the camaraderie developed at Wood, particularly among the team’s seven seniors.

Becoming a starter while watching teammates not complain about their own playing time has served as inspiration.

“We are a very close group,” she said. “So much of our success this season is due to how we treated each other both on and off the court, and how we worked as a team. The senior subs who didn’t get as many minutes were very actively cheering for us on the bench, and competing against us at practice to make us better. Every single person had a role, and whether her role was completed on the court or on the bench, it mattered to us.”

One of Meredith’s teammates next year at Holy Family will be current college junior Lindsay Tretter, whose sister, Lauren, played hoops at Wood this year, performed admirably during the state tournament, and as mentioned earlier, inbounded to Meredith to ignite the closing seconds of the state final.

A former starter at Wood who graduated in 2020, Tretter looks forward to welcoming Meredith into the Tiger den at Holy Family.

“I am excited,” said Tretter. “Getting to play with her at Wood for only one year was sad because I really enjoyed playing with her and getting to know her. But since her and my sister are in the same grade, we’ve stayed close. So I’m really excited to get to play with her again.”

And maybe this will be yet another part of a trivia question somewhere down the road.


Contact John Knebels at or on Twitter @johnknebels